Free resources

Wordtalk is text to speech software that works with Microsoft Word and has a ‘talking dictionary’ – so it can be used to help in reading Word documents:

ReadPlease allows you to copy and paste information from a Word document, or from the internet, and have it read out to you.  It can also be used to change the background colour, or to increase the size of text.  It can be downloaded here:

If you prefer to hear a Scottish accent, ‘Heather’ is free to Scottish schools, colleges and their support services such as Local Authorities.  The new ‘Stuart’ voice is licensed for schools, Colleges, Universities and NHS patients.  Heather and Stuart can be downloaded from and are also available on CD from CALL Scotland (schools only):

CALL Scotland provides specialist expertise in communication and assistive technology.  Pupils and students can also install the voices on home computers.  The Scottish Voices can also be used on talking internet browsers to help pupils and students read materials made available on and through Glow, which is the online community for Scottish schools:

Screen Tinter Lite allows you to change the colour of your Windows display.  This can reduce glare, and make text easier and more interesting to read.  Windows does allow you to change colours.  Screen Tinter Lite is more basic, but easier to use.  It is available here:

Listening Books is a UK charity providing a huge selection of high-quality audiobooks to people across the UK who find it difficult or impossible to read due to illness or disability:

Sally Gardner is a writer and spokesperson for dyslexia, working to change the way it is perceived by society. Her recently published book ‘Maggot Moon’ won the Costa Children’s Book Award, 2012.  Sally is dyslexic and argues that it’s not a disability, but a gift.  On her website, you can listen to recordings of her books: